Kirk Cousins to Start For Redskins in Week 1
The Robert Griffin III might be over. Even if it’s not, it’s on a brief hiatus at the very worst, as backup quarterback Kirk Cousins is now expected to open the 2015 NFL season as the Redskins starter.
Due to RG3’s concussion symptoms still not subsiding, the Redskins have opted to play it safe and shut their would-be franchise passer down for the remainder of the preseason, and don’t plan to rush him back for their week one battle with the Miami Dolphins. Kirk Cousins is expected to get the start, and depending on how he performs, could very well hold onto the starting job for the remainder of the season.
Sources say the plan is not only to start Kirk Cousins tonight in Baltimore, but also week 1 against Miami.
— Dianna Marie Russini (@diannaESPN) August 29, 2015
While Cousins keeping the starting job for all of 2015 certainly isn’t set in stone, two important notes need to be considered: First, there are whispers that Washington management has been looking for a logical reason to distance itself from RG3 and the recent concussion could open the door to allowing that to happen permanently. Secondly, even if the Redskins still back RG3 to any extent, a successful showing by Cousins in a week one win would make it very difficult for the Redskins to turn back to an injury-prone passer who hasn’t enjoyed much success over the last two seasons.
The Redskins weren’t going to be a favorite to win the NFC East, no matter what, but Kirk Cousins could give them a minimal boost. Washington still has the worst odds to win the division for a good reason, but Robert Griffin III’s ineptitude was a huge part of that logic.
It’s clear Cousins isn’t an obvious upgrade in all regards, but he does offer better pocket presence and comes off as a natural born leaders. His main down fall has been questionable decision-making. With an improving defense and rock solid running game behind him, Cousins could play the game manager role perfectly and make the Redskins a tough out on a weekly basis.
But we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves. Right now, RG3 is still the starter for the season, and Cousins is only tentatively expected to start one week. That one week comes against an increasingly better Miami Dolphins team that brought in Ndamukong Suh in free agency and has seen Ryan Tannehill make major strides in each of the last three years. Already the underdog in this matchup going into week one, Washington is now slightly tougher to pick against, knowing they have a little more stability under center.
Betting on the Redskins still won’t make a whole lot of sense in week one, and their prospects don’t spike much on the year. But Cousins taking over the offense offers a little hope, even if it’s bound to be brief.
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